Toronto Mayor Rob Ford won't be prosecuted on election spending

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (Toronto Sun files)

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford (Toronto Sun files)

Don Peat, City Hall Bureau Chief

, Last Updated: 6:15 PM ET

TORONTO - Mayor Rob Ford won’t be prosecuted for alleged contraventions of the Municipal Elections Act.

The city’s compliance audit committee voted 2 to 1 Monday not to proceed with prosecuting Ford.

An audit ordered by the committee had detailed several contraventions of the Municipal Elections Act including that Ford’s campaign exceeded the authorized spending limit by $40,168 — or 3% — along with dozens of other possible contraventions of the Elections Act.

But after hearing submissions from Ford’s lawyer and a lawyer representing the residents demanding the mayor be prosecuted, the committee voted not to push ahead with the issue.

In a written submission to the committee obtained by the Toronto Sun, Ford’s lawyers argued a mayoral candidate “cannot be held to the standard of perfection.

“To do so would be absurd and unachievable,” they stated. “Mistakes happen, even with expert accounting advice. “The applicants submit, in effect, that good faith does not matter and that any breach, no matter how technical or trivial, is an offence requiring — in certain cases — removal from office.

“Such technical interpretations are a triumph of form over substance and should be cast aside in favour of an approach that evaluates substantive and practical considerations.”

Ford’s lawyers argue the audit notes Ford’s campaign was “generally compliant with the act.”

“These contraventions were technical breaches, the result of a difference of opinion, or the result of good faith or inadvertent errors,” the lawyers note. “A prosecution is simply not warranted in these circumstances.” Ford is expected to speak to reporters soon.


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